The Concord Monitor is launching its Environmental Reporting Lab, a long-term effort to better inform the community about the New Hampshire environment. To launch phase 1 of this effort, we need your help. The money raised will go toward hiring a full-time environmental reporter.

Please consider donating to this effort.


'Eating local food is possible, even in the winter'

Last modified: 11/14/2010 12:00:00 AM
Leaving behind October's orange glow and heading into November's shadowy chill is a challenging time of year for many of us. Winter's cold embrace seems to close in around us, making summer's sunny, easy days a dim memory. The glory days of having so many fresh, green vegetables that we didn't think we could eat another salad, or so many tomatoes that we feared our skin might turn red - those days are behind us.

The freezer is full; the garden has been put to bed and our cooking thoughts have turned toward winter.

Will those of us who've come to prefer fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables find good nearby options for holiday cooking? Or, will we end up in the frenzy of shoppers at the supermarket, buying vegetables from California and turkeys from Minnesota? Can we continue our locavore momentum right into the winter? Sure!

With a little bit of advance planning and a willingness to extend our local horizons just a bit, cooking locally for the holidays is easy and fun, even in New Hampshire.

Local farms have gotten into the swing of planning crops for winter markets, CSAs and, in some cases, even staying open for drop-in business through November. Area farms are still picking kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach and other greens. Many have large varieties of storage crops, such as winter squash, potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic.

Farms that used to close down for a long winter's nap are now storing crops to serve a booming clientele of winter local food enthusiasts.

Red Manse Farm in Loudon, open through the end of November, offers a wide selection of organic winter squashes, carrots, onions and more. The Vegetable Ranch in Warner welcomes stoppers-by looking to pick up organic winter vegetables, such as winter squash, potatoes, turnips, pac choi and winter greens.

The Concord Cooperative Market stocks local vegetables, meats, milk and cheese, and it's not too late to order an organically-raised, free range turkey. (It'll come from Misty Knoll Farms in New Haven, Vt.)

They even offer organic cranberries from East Freetown, Mass., for delicious homemade cranberry sauce.

The fish truck from Sanders Fish Market in Portsmouth makes the trip to Concord's Everett Arena every Friday, so holiday menus can include locally-sourced shellfish, such as New England lobster, crab and native shrimp.

Dessert need not come from far away either. A trip to Apple Hill Farm in Concord offers a choice of several apple varieties for baking apple pies (for turkey stuffing, too).

Or, you can just buy one of their own 'too high for the box' pies, instead. While you're there, pick up some fresh cider and a couple of bottles of Farnum Hill Cider (sparkling cider) from Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon.

Maggie Mae Farm in Belmont is still open, with sugar pumpkins and farm fresh eggs, perfect for holiday pies. (Pumpkin tip: roast pumpkins, cut in half with seeds scooped out, turned upside-down in a pan with a little bit of water. Scooping the pumpkin meat out is easy, and there's no peeling involved. Don't forget to roast the seeds in a little olive oil and sea salt.)

By incorporating these stops into your travels over the next few weeks, you'll be all set to lay out a holiday feast that spotlights the best of the region's foods, pleases the palate and satisfies your taste for locavore adventure.

(Find this and other great locavore-inspired blog posts from Eleanor Baron at nourishingwords.net. Baron blogs about local food, sustainability, gardening and healthy living. E-mail her at nourishingwords@gmail.com.)


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Concord Monitor, recently named the best paper of its size in New England.

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy